By: Alison C. Petri © 2020

Recently, the Wisconsin State Board of Aging and Long Term Care set forth suggested options for visiting residents of assisted living, nursing home, and other long term care facilities. In-person visitation may be an option if the resident is at the end of his or her life.

However, you will need work directly with administrators at the facility to discuss if such a visit is an option. If allowed, the facility may screen you to ensure you do not have symptoms that could cause risks to residents or employees such as a runny nose, fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or exposure to a COVID-19 case. Then you may be escorted to the resident and room or other location designated by the facility for the visit to occur. Other restrictions may be also implemented.

If an in-person visit is not an option, suggested alternatives are:
– Connect via FaceTime, Skype or other electronic media
– Send extra cards, notes, postcards
– Phone the resident
– Ask the staff to call you periodically to provide updates about the resident
– Visit the resident at his or her window without making physical contact through
the open window
– Drop off items at the front door of a facility for the resident

It is imperative to discuss visitation policies and procedures with the facility. As vulnerable adults, maintaining the required safety precautions that the facility and State has imposed to ensure all residents and employees stay as healthy and safe as possible is of paramount importance during this unprecedented time.

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